A Cowboy’s Christmas Prayer
The following poem is taken from an undated yellowed newspaper clipping found in the Bob Martin/Dick Perue collection. No author was listed, but it could have been written by any cowboy, on any range, at any time for all of us who love America and especially the West at this joyous time of Christ’s birth. – Dick Perue
I ain’t much good at prayin’, and You may not know me, Lord.
I ain’t much seen in churches where they preach Thy Holy Word,
But You may have observed me out here in the lonely plains,
A-lookin’ after cattle, feelin’ thankful when it rains.
Admirin’ Thy great handiwork, the miracle of grass,
Aware of Thy kind spirit in the way it comes to pass
That hired men on horseback and the livestock that we tend
Can look up at the stars at night and know we’ve got a Friend.
So here’s to Christmas comin’ on, remindin’ us again,
Of Him whose coming brought good will into the hearts of men.
A cowboy ain’t no preacher, Lord, but if You’ll hear my prayer,
I’ll ask as good as we have got for all men everywhere.
Don’t let no hearts be bitter, Lord; don’t let no child be cold.
Make easy beds for them that’s sick and them that’s weak and old.
Let kindness bless the trail we ride, no matter what we’re after,
And sorter keep us on Your side, in tears as well as laughter.
I’ve seen old cows a-starvin’, and it ain’t no happy sight.
Please don’t leave no one hungry, Lord, on Thy good Christmas night.
No man, no child, no woman and no critter on four feet –
I’ll aim to do my best to help you find ‘em chuck to eat.
I’m just a sinful cowpoke, Lord – ain’t go no business prayin’ –
But still I hope you’ll ketch a word or two of what I’m sayin’.
We speak of Merry Christmas, Lord – I reckon You’ll agree
There ain’t no Merry Christmas for nobody that ain’t free.
So one thing more I’ll ask You, Lord, just help us what You can
To save some seeds of freedom for the future sons of man!